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STEMJOBS.COM // EARLY FALL 2017 9 STEMJOBS.COM // EARLY FALL 2017 9 JERA SCHLOTTHAUER PROFESSIONAL STRUCTURAL ENGINEER DEGREES: BACHELOR'S IN ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING, MASTER'S IN CIVIL ENGINEERING YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 8 STEM TYPE: MAKER not always required. After graduation and depending on your state's requirements, you must acquire three to five years of experience as an engineer-in-training (EIT) under a professional engineer, pass the fundamentals of engineering exam (FE exam), and finally take and pass either the eight-hour PE exam or 16-hour SE licensing exam. However, education does not stop there as technology continues to change and there are new findings in research daily. Therefore, each state requires engineers to take and report their continuing education hours every year to maintain their license. SJ: What experiences did you have that were the most valuable on your path to your current career? JS: When I was a student in high school, my advisor encouraged me to join an organization called SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA is the largest organization for students in high school and college who are preparing for careers in the trades, technical, and skilled occupations. As a member, I trained and competed in architectural drafting both at the state and national levels. My experiences as a competitor, chapter member, and leader in this organization did more than enhance the skills I needed to become a structural engineer. SkillsUSA taught me how to think for myself and work with a team of students with different interests, and that it takes more than just good grades to stand out in the world of work. It challenged me to learn how to effectively speak in public, teach others, and advocate to business and industry partners. Most importantly, the organization taught me that success is only achieved through hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm for my career. I credit much of my success and where I am today to this organization and to my education in STEM- related programs. Therefore, I continue to give back to the organization that was instrumental in setting the foundation for my success and encourage young students to stay focused on their STEM courses. SJ: What advice would you give to high school students who are interested in a career in architecture? JS: Explore the many fields of architecture that are out there. If you are interested in construction, green building, technology, interior design, history, material sciences, engineering, travel, the environment, drafting, working in teams, or planning there is a place for you with a career in architecture. There are so many opportunities out there! "YOU MUST POSSESS STRONG SKILLS IN MATH, SCIENCE, DECISION MAKING, WRITING, COMMUNICATION, AND PROBLEM SOLVING. YOU CAN START TO PRACTICE THESE SKILLS WHILE YOU ARE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL."

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